Since 1896, Olympic gymnastics has provided truly exciting competition for both men and women. In the fluid-like free-style gymnastics, airy music sets the mood as the athletes demonstrate their remarkable flexibility with leaps, balances, handstands, and other graceful movements. Skills forged through years of intensive training come together as the resilient bodies of young athletes jump and turn on the thin edge of the beam. Another event, the uneven bars, is relatively new to the gymnastics schedule. Many a contender has brought the crowd to its feet in thundering applause at his or her skill and courage. If the women’s uneven bars event is a high point in balance movement, the men’s parallel bars event offers a real show of strength. The athlete must perform a sequence of at least eleven different movements, combining vaults, swings, strengths, and balances. However, perhaps it is the men’s rings competition… as depicted on this First Day Cover… that demands the greatest strength and stamina of all gymnastic events. The competition requires incredible arm and shoulder muscles for the major movements of swinging and holding positions. Traditionally, this demanding event is considered to be not only one of the most difficult, but also, by far the most spectacular. All things considered, few Olympics events match gymnastics for grace and fluidity of movement.